Burn-out

The state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress that occurs when one feels overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands… Or the reduction of a fuel or substance to nothing through use or combustion. Actually, both explanations are appropriate for today’s story. Nice work on the pun people. We have arrived at the Impel Trading Card #85, spotlighting the Marvel Special Mission #3, Burn-Out.

Impel Trading Card #85 - Marvel G.I.Joe Special Missions #3
Impel Trading Card #85 – Marvel G.I.Joe Special Missions #3
Impel Trading Card #85 - Marvel G.I.Joe Special Missions #3 - Featuring Slip-Stream
Impel Trading Card #85 – Marvel G.I.Joe Special Missions #3 – Featuring Slip-Stream

Somewhere in the Middle East (Trucial Abysmia?), Stalker, Leatherneck and Slip-Stream are sitting in front of a restaurant with a jetfighter mercenary named Deke.

Marvel G.I.Joe Special Missions #3 - Deke.
Marvel G.I.Joe Special Missions #3 – Deke.

He’s a veteran American pilot who was shot down and spent several years as a POW. After returning to the States he no longer could find a piloting job. The local despot, Colonel Sharif, is generously paying foreign pilots, so Deke signed up. Deke is giving the Joes a map with all of the SAM sites, as well as location of an aircraft storage and the maintenance crew housing. In return, Deke gets a stack of money. Leatherneck warns Deke to stay away from the air base tonight.
One of the locals hears them talking and rats them out to the authorities. In Colonel Sharif’s office, Captain Habib reports that someone had informed him that Deke had met with the Americans. The Captain’s orders are to have Deke detained, questioned and shot. And to find the Joes.
Back at the garage the Joes are using as their base, Crank-Case is modifying a van for the assault on the airbase.
Meanwhile at police HQ, Captain Habib is beating Deke to learn the location of the Joes. Deke refuses to give up any information even when a Sergeant Abdul continues to beat him.

Marvel G.I.Joe Special Missions #3 - Sgt. Abdul at work
Marvel G.I.Joe Special Missions #3 – Sgt. Abdul at work

Finally, Captain Habib threatens to poke out his eyes which gives Deke the incentive to tell him the location of the Joe’s temporary base of operations. Being the administrative bureaucrats that most totalitarians are, they want Deke to sign a written confession. As Sharif unties Deke, he tells him that there is a secret SAM site and calls him a coward. Deke stabs Sharif with the pen, kicks him to the ground and smashes a chair over the head of the guard and escapes.
At the garage, the Joes are applying the finishing touches to the van, while Stalker is giving Ace the SAM coordinates over the radio. At that moment, Colonel Sharif’s men show up outside the garage. Busting out, Leatherneck shoots a grenade into an APC that was blocking the road. A car chase with other APC’s takes them back into town. The Joes get some help from the Royalists as they destroy the APC’s in pursuit.

Marvel G.I.Joe Special Missions #3 - The enemy of my enemy.
Marvel G.I.Joe Special Missions #3 – The enemy of my enemy.
The Joe team crashes the gates of the airfield but then the van’s engine dies, so they have to go on foot. The mission was to get Slip-Stream to a new Russian YAK-36, the equivalent of the Harrier VTOL jet. A new problem arises when they notice the hydraulics where pulled for repair. So Slip-Stream comes up with the idea of loading the fighter in one of the large cargo aircraft. As the Air Force is dropping bombs on the airfield, the cargo plane is able to take off with all aboard.
After his escape, Deke has made his way to a fighter jet. He is determined to help the Joes escape. Captain Habib, having shot the mercenary pilots for refusing to fly, sees the Joes taking off and takes command of the secret SAM site at the end of the main runway. Deke having gotten in an unarmed MIG flies up next to the Joes and then circles back to crash kamikaze style into the SAM site and Captain Habib, giving his life to save the Joe team.
Marvel G.I.Joe Special Missions #3 - Going out with a BANG.
Marvel G.I.Joe Special Missions #3 – Going out with a BANG.
Did you notice? No Cobra in this one. Still a good story though. But let’s start with the statistics stuff. The cover is done by Herb Trimpe, story by Larry Hama, coloring by Bob Sharen, letters by Phil Felix, editing was done by Bob Harras and the Editor in chief was Jim Shooter. Dated on February 3, 1987 with a cover price of $.75 (can you believe it?). 

Marvel G.I.Joe Special Missions #3 - Burn-out!
Marvel G.I.Joe Special Missions #3 – Burn-out!

These Special Missions are truly stand alone stories, although later some of them do tie in to the main story line. In this one, we visit Colonel Sharif for a second time. His first appearance was in the ARAH #1 mini-story, Hot Potato. We’ll cross paths with him a few times more in the future. Deke we only get to meet here in this story, given the fact that he seeks redemption for selling out his soul to fight for Colonel Sharif. The first shot we get of him, shows him drinking beer and smoking. Remember this is 1987, but still, it’s a comic book, aimed at kids, teens and adolescents. I don’t think you’d get away with something in this day and age. And to be honest, maybe that’s for the best. Deke was a POW and when he finally got released and returned home, nobody would hire him to fly. A man needs to make a living, so he got tempted by the money Colonel Sharif was offering… The Colonel’s own pilots can’t land at night… Quality staff right there. It must be hard to have to come home to a country that you almost died to protect and not being recognized for the sacrifice you made. I’m not saying Deke chose the right path, but you can certainly understand why he chose to work for Sharif. In the end, he feels responsible for the Joes, who are his team mates in this operation after all. And he gives his life to protect and save them, redeeming himself without even knowing what it was all about. A powerful story. And one that we will revisit in these Special Mission…

That it for this time. I’ll try and post the next one a bit sooner and more regularly than I have been posting. Life has been busy and I haven’t had the time to write on a regular basis as much as I would have loved to. I’m starting a new tradition here, half-New Year resolutions. Or something like that. Write more. It’s as simple as that and I really want to keep it up. So, keep coming back for more Joe. Next time, make sure you bring an offering for the River Spirits. Or if you want to sponsor me rather than them, let me know and I’ll send you my PayPal 🙂

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

The man in the Cactus.

Watch your back!

Watch your flanks!

Watch your front!

Nothing is what it appears to be. Expect the unexpected and be prepared for anything. Today we look for #72, Ambush. Now, where is he?

 

broom.jpg

No that’s not him.

Maybe he’s here.

cactus.jpg

Nope, not there.

Ah, here he is.

Impel_C_72

Impel_C_72b

2 weeks ago, the Joe on Joe podcast reviewed the DIC episode “A is for Android”. The opening sequence featured Ambush, perfectly camouflaged as a cactus on the battlefield. I wonder what does creative types where drinking/smoking when they came up with that. Whatever the case, we do get Ambush in action. Doing what he does best. Hiding. No seriously, the man really is a brave fighter. He just happens to be very good in hiding himself.

There have been 4 figures released of Ambush, the original in 1990 and a 1993 repaint of that in neon for the Dino-Hunters subteam. After an eleven year break, the figure gets renamed as Aaron “Ambush” McMahon. He also grew a beard, sporting some eye shadow even Johnny Depp would think twice about and let a trimmer loose on that garden brush under his nose. Then in 2017, the club released a new figure of him under the FSS 5. They brought back the wild stache and dropped half the beard.

The card art for the original figure does depict a mustache, but the color scheme is much more subdued. Because of that wild ginger look, in my team, he was Scottish, while officially he was from California.

In the comics, he first appeared in issue #111. As part of a recon team he is sent into Benzheen with Recoil and Sneak-Peek (SPOILER ALERT – who get’s killed for the first time). Later on we see Ambush driving the Battle Wagon in Trans-Carpathia when the Joes side with Destro and the Baroness. He then returns in issues #128-129 to rescue Hawk and Lady Jaye in Borovia.

In the cartoons, he is featured a few times. As mentioned before, we see him in “A is for Android” where Cobra has an Android version of Hawk running around without a good sense of humor. But he also appears in the “United we stand” episode where he and Pathfinder need to work together to defeat Cobra. In “Revenge of the Pharaohs” he is teamed up with Captain Grid-Iron. Next we see him aiding General Hawk in “Victory at Volcania”. Quite the career he’s making for himself, from helping a weedwhacker over partnering with a captain to end up as the right hand of the general. He later even gets personal in “I found You … Evy” where he tells the story of the only person who was ever able to find him.

That’s it for now. Join me again next time when we’ll take a look at Ambush’ weed whacking buddy.

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

The Right of Might, the Left of Rockets?

We have another Rocket Man for you today. Yes, that’s right, a man, suck it Mr. Sitterson. Impel Trading Card # 67 features Salvo.

In the Marvel Comics, he first appeared in issue #114. He is part of a large scale operation against Cobra forces in the Benzheen. To say that the guy is a bit buffed would be an understatement. I guess you’ll need a lot of muscle to carry around a 4-stage TOW rocket launcher.

As a Joe of the 90’s, he is however mostly remembered from the DIC cartoon series. He plays a significant part in at least 5 episodes. He gets brainwashed by Cobra, gets to attack Destro’s vulcano base and he helps to stop Cobra’s sun-cream and poison gas from Earth. Gotta love that nineties creativity. Though DIC may have tried to do it cheap, they always replenished Salvo’s rockets between shots 🙂

There have been 3 official figure releases of Salvo over the years, originally from 1990, later in 2005 and then the v3 in 2017 as part of the Club’s FSS 5.0. Most notably on the figures is his bald head (v2 gave him hair!) and the shirt with “The Right of Might” printed on it. I got the original figure as a kid. I know the 90’s Joes get some flack from the community, but you have to admit that they did come with a lot of accessories. Salvo came with a removable helmet, a briefcase, rocket launcher/backpack, 5 missiles, a mine launching type of gun and 5 mines. I’d really like to see toys being this complete nowadays in the stores.

Next time around you might want to put on some thermal underwear, not to get into the guy’s codename, but it sounds painful.

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

Another strange codename

We have arrived at Impel Trading Card #65 and again the definition of the codename is worrying to say the least. The Urban Dictionary describes it as: when presented with a long list of complicated tasks and one takes the easiest possible route, doing things incorrectly and cutting corners to the extreme. Just the person you’d want to be taking care of your explosives… Ladies and Gentlemen, this is #65, Light Foot.

I have to admit, although Light Foot is one of the first more colorful (I’m being polite here) Joes to be released at the end of the 80’s, I really like the figure. I can’t remember when exactly I got the figure, but I do remember him playing a big part in my backyard stories.

We are first introduced to Light Foot in the Special Missions #13 where he – as a probationary Joe – is part of the team assigned to destroy a secret bunker. He is teamed up with another Joe trainee, Mangler,  and Veteran Joe’s Dusty and Outback. The team gets captured and tortured, and Light Foot spills all there is to spill about the mission. Mangler gives him a hard time about it, but in the end, Light Foot carries out his mission and Mangler gets … well, mangled.

In the regular run of the Marvel comics, Light Foot first appears in issue #82. They reference to his injury in the Special Mission, and he tells that because he got injured and couldn’t finish the training. He makes it again this time and together with Repeater and Budo, he is accepted into the Joe team. They don’t get the rest they deserve after the harsh training, when they have to stop a raid on the Picatinny Arsenal. Cobra is able to airlift the truck, but Light Foot had placed a time-delayed mine on the cabin making the truck and helicopter go WHAM in mid-air.

Unfortunately, Light Foot doesn’t appear in the cartoons.

As far as figures is concerned, only 2 official versions were ever released. The second being a repaint to fit Light Foot in with the Night Force team, he was released carded with Shockwave. As I mentioned above, I really like the figure and it’s a shame only 2 versions (1 mold) were ever made. I think that the FSS of the G.I. Joe club could have benefited from a new and updated version of Lightfoot. Maybe in 2020 with the reboot, we’ll get a whole bunch of new and/or updated toys… One can only hope, right?

Next time around, we’ll have a clerk typist in, so I’d better check my spelling.

Till then, Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

 

A blast from the past!

Going under again! It doesn´t feel like it´s been just over a year, but let´s go back to January 2017, when we discussed #27 Deep Six. Today we have arrived at #64, and yes, it´s Deep Six again.

Now this is actually the first figure of Deep Six I remember. In fact, it was the second version of Deep Six, a total of 8 figures have been released of Deep Six.

I’m not going to rehash all that I said last year, instead, I’d like to take this opportunity to talk a bit about the re-releasing of figures over the years. I can understand why Hasbro would do this, it brings in a lot of cash and the molds were available. And if it’s done creatively, I guess I can agree with it. Question is, do we really need 16 different versions of Scarlett, 68 (I kid you not) versions of Snake Eyes or 19 versions of Shipwreck? The Joe universe has a ton of great characters we never saw a figure of or just 1 version was released. I really think that even with the available parts, a lot more different figures could have been released.

I mean take a character like Scoop (ok, he only came on board in the DIC cartoons and wasn’t that popular, but he is one of my favorite figures). Only one figure was released back in 1989. This year an updated version was released through the FSS 5.0, but frankly, that’s too rich for my taste. Don’t get me wrong, the figure does look great and I would definitely want to add some of those figures to my collection, but purchasing them is a big cost already ($31.25 per figure). If I add the shipping costs and import duties per shipment, the price for one figure totals at about $60 for me. As much as I like – no love – G.I. Joe, I just can’t pay that kind of money for it. Sorry for yet another rant about this, but seriously, international collectors are really … well, screwed for lack of a better word.

Back to the point I was trying to make. We could have gotten so many figures we didn’t. Professor Apple, Candy (or Bozo), the White Clown, Magda, … I’m sure you all know some great characters that were never made. Some of these have been created by customizers, but those are not available for most fans.

Reading through this post, you may get the impression I’m disappointed with the figures we did get. Rest assured, I’m not. Most of the figures that were released, even the n-th release of Duke, Cobra Commander or Snake Eyes are small pieces of art. If I had the money, I’d start a museum for my Joes. Setting them up in display cases like the shots from the catalogs, how cool would that be. The problem would be, what could we sell in the museum shop? Not a lot of stuff is coming out (let’s hope the movie reboot is a huge success and sales are rocketing), so what’s left? There are a lot of fans of the franchise who create great content. Think of Robert Carson Mataxis’ great 3DJOES or Christopher Hemsworth’s GIJOE365. Both these guys have taken their love for G.I.Joe to the next level and beyond and have created new content for the fans. Thanks to these guys, the community grows and continues to live on. So a very big thank you to them! I hope that in a small way, my blog can also add to the community and inspire more of the fans to speak out and restore G.I. Joe back to its glory. (I don’t have shares in Hasbro in case you were wondering, just a fan that doesn’t want to see his idols slip into the big black hole of nothingness…)

Time to wrap it up for this time around. Next time we’ll take a look at another one of my favorite figures that also got a mere 2 figures released (the second one being a straight repaint, 50 shades darker 🙂 ) Thread carefully and see you again next time.

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!